Qenamun / Kenamun

From the magazine Archaeology - Tuesday May 27th
‘PISA, ITALY—A skeleton discovered in a cardboard box at a fourteenth-century monastery near Pisa may be the remains of Qenamun, the chief steward and foster brother of Amenhotep II. Writing on the skull identified it as one of the 11 mummies brought from Egypt by nineteenth-century archaeologist Ippolito Rosellini. He had written a letter, recently found in the National Archives in Prague, indicating that the mummy and its black varnished coffin may have been intended for the collections of Grand Duke Leopold II. “Most likely, when the boxes were opened in Livorno, the mummy was no longer in condition to be brought to the grand duke. Rosellini possibly gave the mummy to his friend Paolo Savi, the director of Pisa’s natural history museum, so that it could be useful to science at least,” Marilina Betrò of Pisa University told Discovery News. Wires on the bones suggest they may have been hung in the museum, and the badly damaged coffin, which had not been recorded in the museum’s inventory, was found in a museum store room. Its hieroglyphs identified its owner as the “God’s Father Qenamun.” “The very important title confirmed it belonged to Amenhotep II’s foster brother,” Betrò explained.’[/size][/size]

From the Kolbrin, second scroll of Kison (Manuscripts 29)
‘My name, henceforth, shall be Hemnetar and I shall not eat of fish or beans until I come to the place appointed to fit my station. I shall wear linen and my sandals shall be made of grass, so that none shall perceive my greatness. I will hide great things within my heart and a bridle will ever hold my tongue in check. I shall pray among the empty-hearted, but my prayers will not be as theirs but as those offered in the days of our fathers who sat enfolded in silence two hours beforehand. Now the marks are changed by the hypocrisy of men. With me shall go Methemun, my brother, but Nifanethrith shall remain and provide for our father in faith. We shall be with he whom men call Nonpeka for his foolishness in his father’s abode. Kenamun shall be with us as chief overseer. Behind us we leave many in sorrow, but our stature shall not diminish, for greater things are always believed of those who are distant.’

Manuel told me earlier this year that he thought an Egyptian mummy discovered by archaeologists had a name that he thought might be in the Kolbrin, but when I checked on the internet, I could only see news items about the mummy of a pharaoh named Woseribre Senebkay who was discovered in January.

But there was a later discovery in May this year, and the name of the Egyptian found - Qenamun - is identical to Kenamun in the Kolbrin. This is potentially very exciting, since the identification has been made many years after the publication of the Kolbrin. If you google ‘Qenamun’, you’ll find several news items about the discovery. There has also been an exhibition in Italy this year based on the find. I’ll try to get hold of a copy of the catalogue and have it translated by a friend.

Thank you, Manuel!

news.discovery.com said this in its feature about Qenamun:

The pharoah held Qenamun in such a great esteem that he had planned a magnificent funeral for him, with processions of Qenamun statues and singers of the Amon temples dancing and singing for him. But such a memorable funeral might have never occurred. The reliefs in Qenamun’s large Theban tomb were defaced and not a single image of him survived the chisel attacks.
“The skeleton suggests a disgraced Qenamun died young under the reign of his foster brother.”

The Kolbrin gives a very good reason why Qenamun’s tomb was defaced. Qenamun and his companions had criticised the corrupt state of religious life in Egypt, and were sticking to the old spiritual beliefs that their fellow-countrymen no longer shared. For this they would have been ostracised, even persecuted, and finally disgraced when they fled the country, taking the sacred writings with them.

What makes this particularly interesting is that, assuming the Kolbrin to be authentic, the writers and preservers of these Kolbrin documents were not part of the political or religious controlling classes (at least not in certain instances). There is clearly an underground current of a particular spiritual bent, that comes in and out of power, whilst also surviving the defacing of public records and statues, and the rise and fall even of religions, nations, and entire civilizations.

Perhaps a better understanding of this this ‘golden thread’ of spirituality, of which the Kolbrin serves as a kind of history, will answer many larger questions… :wink: